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To my loving family, for all their support through the good


times and the bad

And to Guns N' Rosesfans everywhere, old and new; wih-


out their undying loydiy and limitless patience, none of
this would matter

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t fek like a baseboll bat to my chest, but one swung from the inside,
Ckar blue spots lit up the aoiaerr of my vision. It was abnrpt, bbodless,
silent violence, Nothing was visibly b m h nothing had chaqed to the
naked eye, but the pain made my mrld stand still I kept playing; I finished
the mng. 'The audience didn't know that my heart had done a somersault
just besort the sob. My body bad d e l i d its karmic tetribution; remind-
ing me, onstas of how many times I'd incentionallyserved it up a similar
boP-de-bo~
lhejolt quickly became a dull ache that almost f&good. In any case, I
f&more aliw than I had a morn- besort, because I war more alive. 'The
machine in my heart lnd reminded me ofjust how precious this Mi is, Its
timing was impeccablet with a h l l house in front of me, while I played my
guitarII pt the message loud and clear. I pt it a fkw times that mght. And
I got it every time I m s onstage hr the mt of that touq though I never
knew wben it was comirrg.
A doctor installed an implantablecardiovert~de6brilhtmin my heart
when I was thirty-h. It's a t h m ~ i n c b - b qbattery-powered pnerator
that was k a e d thiough an incision in my armpit. It constardy &om
my heart rate, delivering electirwhoclce whenever my heart beats too
durgeiously fist or slow. Fifteen years of overdrinking and diug abuse
bad swollen that organ to one beat short of exploding. When I was hally
hospitalized, I war told I had six weeks to live. Itk been six years since
thenand this piece of machkry has s a d my Mi more than a few times.
I've enjoyed a convenient side &ct that the doctor did not intend: when
my indulgwces have caused my heart to beat too dangerously sbw, my
defibrillator has popped oa keeping death &om my door hr one more
day. It also shocks my heart into submission when it beatr fast enough to
court c d k c amst.
Itk a p d thing Igot it djusted besort the &st V e k Rm,hrer tour. I
did that one sober hr the most part; sober emugh that the excitem- of
playing with a b a d I b e l i e d in to fins who b e l i e d in us m o d me to
myam.Ilndn'tbeenthatinspiredinyeaiaIrandoverthes~e;I~
in our collective energy My heart raced with exciaement hard enough to
riiggtr the machine inside me onstage every night. It wasn't pleasant but I
beganto d o m e tbaaenminders. I saw them f kwhat theymere. Stranp
mornentsd a k e d chriq mornents out oftimethat encapsulatedalifie's
woah ofhard-won wisdom.
Iyo bornon Jdy 23,1965, h StokGomTrert Eng- the tavn whed
-ue.
' leh'ny Kllmlster of Matdrheadwas borntwenty y- before me. It ycb
. ~ y e a r l ~ d r a n d l o ~ n w e ~ Y ; & ~ ~ r t h a n ~ n m ~ f t l
".pc#ts; the year a few lsobted tkp& c h d pop musk &weid TlS
4 s.
: ~ ~ h r e l e Q S B d R L l ~ ~ S W l ~ y ~ ~ r ~ t h e S t o n e s ~ M l l l l g
. -.
**
*- m e9NO. 2: the best of the~r coljectlons d ~ u e cowrs:'ihem
s was a
c k k revohJtlondootihdhasnever beene&hedand lsmproud lo
Paris. My mom ru p m c o & ~ad d e c a n t , young and bea&I; she'd
' be a by-productof
le& Locr An& to see the world ad make connections in fashion, Wben
My mom Is an Afrloan Amerloan and my dad Is 'Engllsh b -w It6)
"4F their joumeyts intemected they fdl in love, then pt married in England.
They met In P u l s Inthe s k t h fel In bve. and had me. Thelr b
I & r ~ ~ khtercorrtlnentd
l comrnunlon wanV the norm; and:
. $? And then I came along and they rret about creatingtheir l& togethes
My momb career as a corrtumedesigner started around 1966, and ooer
, w e thet boundlesscrealivlty.lthank themfor belngwho th&i&$h
the omme of it, her clients induded flip Who- Rinp Starr, and John
exposed meto e r u l r o m h so r k h and cobrful and u d q k -. Lennon. She also worked b r the Pointer Sistem, Helen Reddy Linda
Iexperienced evenwNlevery young made a perrnanerrt-hpprdnon
- .-. . R o d 4 ad James Taybr. Sylvester sms one of her client4 mo. He is no
-..
m e . ~ y p a r e n t a ~ m e a s a n e q w l a s ~ n a l c o & s t C..l r M : . d ~
b n-w with us, but he wu, once adkoartist who wu, likethegay Sly h e .
.* they lought me, on the fly, how to deal wlth whdwer mme 6 \
wqi In
He had agreat voice and hewas asuperpod person in my eyes; he gave me
" theonlyiype dllfet'veever knarun. \
1. a blackand-white rat that I namedMickey Mickey wu,a badasa He never
flinched w b n I fed a m to my snakes. He survived a f d b m my bedroom
window &er he wu,roerred out by my youqer brothel; and wu,no worse
fix the wear when he showed up at our backdoor three days ]at- Mickey
also survived the accidental removal of a d o n of his tail when the inner
chvreis of our wfi bed cut it ofE as well as cbrre to a year without hod or
water. We kfi him behind by mistllre in an aparanm that = used as

STOKED
mxap space, and when we popped in to pick up some boxes, with a a r k blackAm&an.I w d e r what be said when Tony told him
Mickey came up to me c o n p d l y as if I'd been gone only a day, as if to that he intended to be married and raise their newborn child under their
my, *Hey!W h e r e you beenf roof until he and my mom pt their in order. All things anridered,
MIckqr was one of my more memorable pets. 'Ihere ha- been mury, I'm touched by bow much diplomacywas displayed by the p a e s involved.
from my mountain lios Cux& to the hundreds of sxnkes I've m i d . Bat&
c d y I am a &taught zookeeper and I definitely relace to the animak I've
lned wkh better than to most of the humans I'm b w n . 'Thow animals MY DAD TOOK M E T O L O N D O N AS SOON
and I hare a point of view that most peopk & e t at the end of theday I& u, I could handle the train ride. I was maybe two or three, but ins&
is about w r v i d Once that lemon is hmed, earningthe txust of an animal t i d y I knew how far away it was from Stoke's unending miks of brown
that might eat you in the wild is a defining and d i n g experienae. brick row bouses and quaint families because my dad was inco a bit of a
bohemian scene. We*dc n h o n couches and notcome back& days. 'There
were Lava lamps and blacklights, and the electric excitement ofthe open
SOON AFTER I WAS BORN. MY MOTHER booths and artists along P d e l b Road. My dad never considered him-
returned to L.A. to expand her business and to hy the 6nancialfiwndation selfa Beat, but he had a b b e d that kindofI&qk through oemosis. It
our family was built upon. My dad r a i d me in En&d at his paws', was as if he had handpicked the highlights of that type of & a bve of
Charles and Sybil Hudson's, home & tinu years-and it wam't m y on adveaute, hitting the road with nothing but the clothes on yaw back,
him. I was a p t t y intuitive kid, but I could not d k e m the depth of the finding heker in apartmas fullofintem&ngpeople. My p a w s taught
tension there. My dad and his dad, Charks, from wkat I understand, had me a lot, but I k a r d their greatest lesson early-nothing elec is quite
h than the best felatbdip Tony was the middk of t h e sons, ad he likI&ontheioad.
was every bit the middle child upstart. H i youqer brother, Ian, and his I remember the p o d things about +land I was the center of my
older k h - David, were much more in step with the imily's values. My g r a n d p a s *attention. I went to school. I was in plays: The TrudueDay
dad went to art school; he was everything his k h e r wasn't. Tony wuu the dChristmar; I was the E d in The Litde Drummer Boy I drew all the time.
&ties; and he stood up Sbi his beliefs as wbolehearaedlyas his father corn- And once a d I watched Zk Avmgerr and %e %wrdcrbirds. T h i s i o n
demned them. Mygmndfather Charles was a & m a n from Stok a com- in latesixties +land war extremely limited and teflected the poet-World
munitythatbadrromehow~thmaghbiscayunchan&Moet~ War 11, Chichillview of the world of my g r a n d p a s ' generuion. 'There
of Stoke never leave; mury, lik my grandparents, had never v e n d the were only t k c h d back tkn, and yide from the tmm haws a week
hndred or rro miks south to London. Ton$ unyielding vision of attending that any of them played thoae tmm program all three played only the news.
art school and making a hing through painting was something Charles Itb no wonder that my p a w s ' gweration threw themaelvesheadfirst into
could not stomach. 'Tkis c h h of opinion heled constant argumas ad the cukuralahili that was afbot.
ofoen kd to v i o k exchanges; Tony chims that Charles beat him A s s Once Tony and Ipined O h in Loe Angeltr, k never spoke to his p m
on a regular bashfor most of his +. ene again, 'Ihey disappeared from my lifequicklyand I o h k e d tbem
growingu p My mother encoufigtd my fither to say in w c h but it made
My grand&ther was as consummately r e p r w d v e of 1950s Brhin
as his rron was of the &ties. Charles w a d to see everything in its right n, di&ence; he had n, interest. I didn't see my Englieh datives again

place whik Tony wanted to iwr~p and repaint it all. I imagine that my until Guns N' Roaer became d lknowa Wben we p h e d Wembky Sta-
grandfatherwas properly appalkd when his son returned &omParis in bve dium in 199% the Hudson clan came out in fmet backstage befbre the

STOKED
&ow I witnessed one of my under, my courin, and mygrandfvbes on his AFTER A YEAR O R T W O I N LAUREL C A N Y O N
very k trip to London &om Stoke, down every drop of liquor in our we moved south to an qaranent on Doheny, I changed schools, and that
d d g mom. Consumedin full, our boo= rider in thoae dayswwld l n ~ is when I d k o d j u s t how d i @ d ythe a- kid l i d I never had a
kikd anyone but us. traditionalakid"room lid&toysandprimvy colors. Our homes werenever
painted in common neutral tones. The essena of pot and incense usuaUy
hung in the air, 'Ihe vibe was always bright, but the color schemewas always
M Y FIRST M E M O R Y O F L O S A N G E L E S I S dark. It was Cine with me, because I was never concerned with a o d n g
the Doors'"Lighc My F S blasting from my parents' turntable, every day with kids my ;~ge,I preferred the aompany of adults because my parentsB
dl day bng. In the late aixties and early smemk LA. wrs the place to be, friends are stdl some of the most aolorful characters rw ever known.
especially fbr young Brits involved in the atts or music: there was ampk I listened to the radio 24/7, usually KHJon the AM dial I slept with
c&~kaom~tothertill.etodp;ysyrcpmin~hndandtheder it on. I did my schoolwork and got good grades, although my teacher said
was mthing but paradise compared to Londonb rain and kg. Besides, I had a short attention span and daydreamed all the time. ?he truth is, my
dereaing %had fbr Yankee &s wrs the best way to flip off the syraem passion was arc I loved the French hstimpressionist painter Henri R o w
and your upbriqing-nd my dad was more than happy to do so. seau and, Like him, I drew jungle scenes f d of my favorite aimah, My
My mother c o d e d her work as a f d i o n desigrm while my father obession with snakes started very arlp The tirst time my mother took me
parlayed his natural artistic talent irwographic design, My mom had con- to Big SUL;Cdihrnia, to visit a friend and camp up there, I was six yevs
nections in the music industry so her hurbpnd was soon &- abum old and I spent hours in the woods catching snakes. I'd dig under every
c o n We lived offlaud Canyon Boukvard in averyriaies communky bush and tree until I'd filled an unused aquarium ?hen I'd let them go,
up at the top of Lookout Mountain Road. That area of Los An+ has That wasn't the only Qciaement I erperienced on that outing: my mom
always been a creative h a m because of the bohemian nature of the land- and her fCiend were similarly wild, carefree young women, who enjoyed
scape. 'The houses are set + h t into the mourninside among lush foliage. ncing my momis Vollcswagen Bug along the twishing U d e roads. I
They are bungabws with gutethoueer, and any odd number of structures rememberspaedmngdong in thepassenger seat scared sdfElooking out my
that allowfor wry organic, annmunalliviq. There was awry cozy enclave window at the rocks and ocean that lay below, just inchespast my door.
of a k s and musicians living up there when I was young: Joni Mitchell
lived a fitw houses down from us. Jim Morrison liwd behind the Canyon
Store at that time, as did a young Glen Frey, who wasjust putting wether
the Hagka It was the kind of atmosphere where everyone wrs c o n n e d :
my mom designedJonib clothes while my dad d e + d her album covers.
David G&n was a c h fiiend of our+ too, and I amember him well He
+dGum N' Roees y a m lateq though when he did he didn't know who
I was-and I didn't tell him. He calkd O h at Christmas in 1987and asked
her bow I was doing. %u should know bow he's doing," she said, "you just
put hisbandb i#:d out."
MY PARENTS' R E C O R D C O L L E C T I O N WAS
flawless. 'Ihey Listened to everythingfrom Beethoven to Led Zeppelin and
I continued to find undiscovered gems in their library well into my beens. I
knew every artist of the day because my parents took me to concerts con-
stantly, and since my mom took me to work with her o k n as well. At avery
early 9 I was exposed to the inner workings of entertainment: I saw the
inside of many recording studios and ehearsal spaces, as well as T V and
film sets. I saw many o f o n i Mitchell's recording and rehearsal sessions; I
also saw Flip Wilson (acomic who was huge thenbut whom time has &got-
ten) temrd his TV show. I saw Australii pop singer Helen Reddy ehearse
and pehrm, and was thee when Linda Ronstadt played the Troubador.
Mom abo took me alongwhen sheoutfitted Bill Cosbyfor his stand-upgigs
and made his wih a few one-offpieces; I emember going with her to see the
Pointer Sisters. All of that was M r the course of her career,but when we
l i d at hataparementon Doheny, her business was really taking06 Carly
Simon came over to the house!, soul singer Minne Ripperton as well. I met
StevieWonder and Diana Rosa My Enom tells me that I met John Lennon, MY BROTHER. ALBION. WAS
BORN I N
too, but unbrtunately I don't emember that at all. I do emember ~ i n g December l972.That changed the dynamic of my idy
a bit; suddenly
Ringo Starr: my mom designed the very Pdint-Funkadelicoutfit that there was a new personaliy among us. It was cool to haw a little brother,
Ringo w o e on the cover of his 1974album, Goodmight V i m a It was high- and I was glad to be one of his carnalreis:I loved it when my parents m l d
waisted and metallic gray with a white star in the middle of the chest. askme to bokafter him.
Every bachtaF or sound- scene that I sawwith my mother worked But it wasn't too b q after that that I began to notice a greater change
some kind of strange magic on me. I had no idea what was going on, but I in our family. My parents wren't the same when they were together and
was hcinated by the machinationsofpehrmance back thenand I stillam too often they were apart Things scartd to get bad I think once we m o d
now. A stage full ofinstruments awaitingaband is exciting to me. ?he sight into the apaltmerv cm Doheny Driw and my mom's business began ao really
ofaguitar stillturns me on. Thee is an unstated wonder in bothof them: sucaeed Our address was 710 North Doheny, by the way, which is now a
they hold the ability to transcend reality given the right set of players. vacant bt where Christmas tiees are sold in December. I should also men-
tion that our next-& neighbor in that building was the original, self- other and rocialized in the same circle of friends. When they split up, my
prochimed Black Elvis, who can be booked & parties in Lu,Vegakif k l e brother wasjusctwo years old, so& obvious reasons they agreed that
anyoneb interested. he s h o d be in his motherb care, but left me the option of livingwkh &her
Now that I'm older I can see some of the obvious hues that aae away one of them ro I chow to live wkh my mothet 0la s u p p e d us u,best as
at my parents' relatiomhip My fither mver liked bow ckwe my mother shecould, travelingconsmntIytow h m her work took her. Cht of neces-
to her mother. It bruised his pride when his mother-in-hw helped ur,h a m sity, my brother and I wm-e shuffled between my m o d house and my
and hewas never h d of her involvementin the funily. His drinking grandmotherb home. My p n t s ' h w e had always been busy, interesting
didn't help t h i n p my dad used to like to drink-a bt. He was a s t e m and unconventionaLbut it had always been stable. Once their bond was
typically bad dr& he was never vioEn2 because my dad is much too b r o h though c~~ tramition became the nonn & me.
smart and aomplicd to ever express himeelfthmugb brute violence, but 'Iheseparvionwasveryhadonmy&therad Ididn'tseehim&qute
he had a bad temper under theinhence. When he was drunk, he'd act out awhile.Itwashardonallofuy t ~ y b e c a m e r e a l i t y t o m e o n c e I s a w
by makiq impproprmteaomments at the expense of t h e in h k presence, my mother in the company of another man, That man war David Bowie.
Needltu to say, he burned many bridges that way.
1-~+,kIIldha~lonawnthatdingwas+~
Myp-smvertde?ehotherwithvychingk~peet,kinthe I N 1975. MY M O T H E R S T A R T E D WORKING
rnonchs be&e they split up, they annpletely awided each 0th- My mom cbe+with David Bowiewhik hewas reamlingSsahn to Stah;she had
was out most +s ad my dad s p t tbwe +ar in the lcicchtq somber been designing clothes for him since Young Amaiaru. So when he signed
and ;Lbne,dnnkiq red wine and listeningto the piamcompositions of Erik ontoetar inthefikn IheMan WhoIkIOtoEarthmymomwas hiredtodo
Sptie, When mymom was borne, mydadandIwcntoutonImgwrllra the costumes & the film, which shot in New Mexico. Along the way, she
He walked everywhere, in England a d Ins Angeles. In pre-Charles and Bowie embarked on a semi-inaense a & i Looking back on t now, t
Mamon L.A.-Wre the Manson clan murdered Sharon Tate and her might not haw been that big of a deal, but at the time, it was like wamching
friends-we also used to hiochhike erywhere. LA.was innocent b& an alien land in your backyard.
that; those murders +&xi the end of the utopian ideals of the sirties A h myp-s split up my mom, my broth- ad I movedinto a h a r e
Flower Power era. on Rangely D r i ~It. was a very cool bww the wah of the living room
My childhood memories of Tony are cinemuic; allof them &moons were sky blue and emblazoabd wkh cbuds. 'There was a piano, and my
spent looking up at him, waEq by his side. It war on one of t h e walks mom's reand collection took up an entire wall. It was inviting ad COZY
that we ended up at Fatbuqer, w h he d me that he and Mom were Bowie came by often, wkh hk wife, An& and their son, Zowie, in tow.
separating. I was devaatd; the only stability r d known was done. I didn't The &wm-e unique it seemed entirely mtural & Bowie to bring
urkquedom, I j u a stared at my hamb-. When my mom cut me down his wifi and son to the home of his lover so that we might all hang ouc, At
to explain the h a t i o n later that night, she pointed out the practical bea- the time my mother practiced the same &m of tranrrcendennl medintion
elits: I'd haw two houses to liw in.I thought about that &a while, and t that David did. 'Ihey chanted befcm the shrine she maintained in the
m&senseinawaybutit~ndedlikealie;InoddedwhileshespIrebut bedroom.
I stopped listening. I aaepted David on- I got to know him because heb mait, iimny, and
My pas'separation was aunicabk yet a d d because they didn't intensely creative My experience of bim off- enriched my ex+e of
divorcle until yeair, later. 'Ihey ohen lived wkhin waEq d h n c e of each him -age, I xmx to aee him d my mom at the L.A Forum in 1975,

STOKED
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and, as I have been so many times sine% the mom- he came out omtage,
incharacter, I capmued His entire matt m s the essence of p&-
mance. I saw the funiliar elemems of aman I'd p e n to know exaggerated
to the extreme. He had deed rock d o m to its room: being a r o c k s r
is the i n e m d o n ofwho you ate and who you mnt ao be.
h e n m y ~ a p t s e p a m t e dIwaaecm-bythewdden
,
c h a w Inride I waa stdl agood kid, buton the outsideI became
a problem child, Exprwuring my d o n a is s t i l l one of my
weakma- a d what I fik then defied womb, so I bllowed my natural
inclinuione-I acted out drastically and became a bit of a disciplinary
problem at acbool.
At home, my parema*prombe of a m-abode existence that muldn't
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changr a thing hadnt come to paaa I hardb raw my dad for the first year
or w that they w e apart, a d when I did, it waa incense and ~ i r dAs . I
, --.
-c'&onegl~therugto~ym~out~omunderihem; memtioned, the divorcehit him hard and watching him adjust- difficuk
- &nts uudly don? am- tW&ehm. hstlnct and hlUh fix me; fix a while be couldn't workat all. He lived m e a ~ l ay d h u q out
. ';:, Whlle
; jeb, heb p o v ~lane e wur~ngj&Jnio
&

myah do ~tllefq+dp~p;&~ am- h i artiat friends. When I viaited with him, I m a akmg b r the ride
d ....
i rdme feelha d loolk*mea t
d &n ~ ~nip e-. W&W d ~
t yhx i aa he a d bb friends hung out, drank a lot of red wine, and dkcuaaed a n
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d a. r n &er,.oon(~.lon. shdea, and ,f,uatrdbn 9 .
M e. n .14a.
and literature, the c-tion typically turning to Pic- my dad'a fiww
.' together ~micieyou ~ k ae snow abbe. t i d&us for the emotiond ' ice a r k . Dad a d I would p on adventures, too, either to the library or
* ' ~ t o l e t l l e o y o u d o ~ r b & ~ ~ t o ~ ~ & t h e m ,r ~ .. . the art muaeumI w h e we'd sit togaher and draw.
.
My pareM sepudlon w a the picture of an a gm My mother waa home leu, than e r ; ahe worked aonatacl~trawling
. were no ngmor ugly m i o r , no b y w s no douis;~& o h to wpponmy brotherad me. We apentabt oftimewith mygrad-
meyeustooornetotermswlhthehut.l l o s t a ~ o f w t a d l mother O h Sr, who waaalwal)aoursaviqgrace when Mom coulddt make
had to redellne -If wh
on my Imrrns.'~learned a W, endsmeet. We also spent timewith my aunt UYI cousins who lived in-
sons didn't help me kter onwhen the only other Ibmlly Yd; South Ce-1 L.A. 'Iheir h m e waa boisterous, W with the energy of
tegrdmd. I saw the slgm lhdtbne,whenGms N' Roses.8krbdts a bt of H a Our viaita there bough aome regularity to our idea of fimily.
, at the seam. BU even lhwgh I ihe ~eavi&-kjh.'&- But all things consideredI I had a bt of time on my h d s and I took

,(
.8urteblzi!uldof~ngbyk~alforme,
llndmywuybacktomypdhagdn
twoeverybtqr-.
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advantage of it,
OnceIwaatwelm Ipwupfist.Ihadser, Idrank, Iamoked+ettea,
I did d m p n I stole, I got kicked out of =hook a d on a f koccaaiona I
would have gone tojail if I hadnetbeen under-. I waa acting out, malcing
m y l i f e a a i n c e m s e d u ~ E a a I f i C l t ~ dAmitthat
e. Inaalmyadefined
me redly came into its own in t h i period: the intmaity witb which I pus-
suemy interests. My primarypa- by the time1waa &had ahifbad
from drawing to bicycle motocmwa.
In 1977, BMX racing was the newerrt e x m e s p a to folbw the aurE

TWENTY-INCH-HIGH HOOLIGANS
ing and skateboarding craze of the hte sixtier. It a M y had a few born the shoulder, then one by on we'd grab a car and ride it up the hill.
Me stam, such as Stu lhompon and Scott Brdthaupt; a lk magazines, Balancinga bike, ewn one with a low center ofgravity, while holding on to
such as &'cycle M w s s Action and Amakan Ftcutylir, and m- semi a car driving thirty or fioity milw an hour is th- but tricky on flat
pro and pro competitions were popping up constandy. My gtvldmother ground; attempting it on a wier of tigk uphill S curves like Laurel
bought me a Webco and I m s hooked. I started winning races and was Canyon is wmething else. I'm still not sure how nwe of us were ever run
h e d in a wuple of the magazines as an up-~ndtomingrider in the t h i ~ over, It surprises me more to manember that I did that ride, both up and
teen to burteen age category. I loved ic; I was ready to p pro once I'd down hi4 wihout brakes more o h than not. In my mind, being the
h d e d a sponsorc but wmething was miesing. My f+s weren't clear youngest meant that1 had wmethingto prove to my friendsevery timewe
enough to me to vocalize just what BMX didnt inside me. I'd rode: judging by the bob on tbeir &es after wme of my stunts, I suc-
know it when I found it a lk yeam hat ceeded. 'Ihey migk haw been only temugetx but my friends -net ea*
After xbool I hung out at bike shop and became part of a team rid- impressed
ingfioiallt~~t~~SpoktsandStufEwhereIbeptoco~aabuachof To tell you the truth, we were a gnarly littk &a* One of them was
much older friends-wme of the other older guys n k e d at Schwinn in Danny McCracken. He was sixteen; a strong, heavy, d a c type, he was
S amMonia. Ten or w of us would ride around Hollywood every .;Bk akeady a guy e r y o n instinctively knew not to h c k with. One .;Bk
and all of us but two-they were broth=-came h m disturbed or b m Danny and I stole a bike wkh bent hkr,ad while he d&erately bunny-
ken domestic riuatioms of wme kind. We h n d wlace in one anocher's hopped it to break the &hand make us all laugh, he &dlover the handle-
company: our time spent together mms the only tegular w m p a i d i p banr and dashed his wrist wide open. I saw it aoming and watched it as if
anyof us could count on. in dow-motion as blood started quiiringeverywke,
We mid meet up every afternoon in Hollywood and ride every- "Ahhh!" Danny shouted. Ewn in p a 4 Dan* voice was oddly sofie-
where from Culver City to the La Brea Tar Pit4 treating the streets as spoken consideringhis size-kind of like Mike Tysoda
our bike park We'd jump off every doped surface we could find, and "Holy shit!"
whether it ms midnigk or the middle of rush hour, we always disre- "Fuck!"
spected the pedestiiand right of way We were just scrappy kids on "Dannyk k k e d up!"
ewenty-inch-high bikes, but multiplied by t e in~ a pack, whizzing down Danny lived just around the corneq so two of us held our hands over
the sidmlk at top speed, we were a fbme to be reckoned wkh. We'd his wrist as bbod lcept squirting out between our lingers as we waked
jump wto a bus bench, sometimes while some poor stianpr ms sitting him home.
there, we'd hop 6re hydrant4 and we'd compete constantly to outdo one We got to h i potlch and rang the bell. H i mom came to the door and
another. We were disillusioned t e e n a p s tiying to navigate d s c u k we s h o d her Dannyb wrist. She boked at us un&zed, in diddie£
rimerr in our liver, and we did so by bunny-hopping all over the sidewalks 'What thefick do you mnt me to do about it?"she said, ad dammed
of L.A. the doot
We'd ride this dirt track out in the Valky, by the youth center in We didn't h o w what to do; by this time Dannyk face was paE, We
R e d a . It ms about &keen miles away from Hollywood, which is an didnt even know wbere the nevest hospital was. We w a k d him back
ambitious g d on a BMX bilon We uaed to hitch rides on bumpenr over down the meet, bbod still spurtingall over us, and fl+ down the fiicrc
Laurel Canyon Boulevard to cut down on our travel time. It5 nothing I'd car we saw.
advise, but we treated passing cam like aeae on a dci chairW: we'd wait on I rtuck my head in the window, "Hey my fried k bleeding to death,

TWENTY-INCH-HIGH HOOLIGANS
can you take him to the hoophk" I said hyrterically. "He's p n a die!'' himwaybPck,butIsawhim?g;rinatanAAmettingthatIwas&edto
Luckily the M y driving was a nuaa attend (we'llget to all of that in jut a little bit) &er I war a r m e d one
She put Danny in the fmnt reu d we folbwed her car on our bikes. night in the late eighties. I muldnt believe it; I mlked into this meeting
When he got to the e m e p c y mom, Danny didn't have to mit; b k d and was btening to all of these people speak and, afier a while, realized
was pumping out of his w h t like a victim in a horror movie w they that the guy h d i n g the meeting, the one who m r as gung ho about wbri-
admitted him immediately, as the mob of people in the waiting room ety as Lieutenant Bill W p m , Robtit Duval's character in Apocdype
looked on, piued. ?he doctors rtiched up his wrist but that man't the Now,bad been about rurhg, was none other thanJonathan Watm. Time
end of it: when he war released into the waitiq mom where we were mit- is such a po&l ~ chaqe; you never know how kindred rwlr
c a t a l fibi
ing h him, he wmehow popped one of his newly sewn sticks, rending a willed u p o r where they mqZht see each other again,
e a m of bbod akyward that Eft a trail acms the c&g which k k e d Back the^ thome guys and I speat many an ewning at Laurel Elemen-
out and disgusted everyone in raw N e e d h to i s a ~he m s d m i t t e d ; cuy School, making very creative uw of t& playpund. It was a hang-
his wamd round of sutures did the trick out for every Hollywood kid wkh a bike, a r h e b o a d , wme booze to
d&k, or some weed to smoke. The playground had tmm lev& connected
by long concrete ramps; it begged to be a b u d by r h a and b h We
THE O N L Y S T A B L E O N E S I N O U R G A N G took full a d v a m p o f t by decons~lctingthe playgrwndb picnic tables
wereJohn and Mike, who we c a M the Combuqa Brothers. They were to make them intojumps that linked the two levels. I*mnot proud of our
d k h these reawnst they were from the Valley where the typical chionie &auction of public propexty, but riding down thome two ramps
American wburban & thrnad, t& parents were intact, they had sis- and launching owr the h c e on my bike was a thrill that was well worth
t a , and a l ofthem lived rogether in a nice quaint house. But they weren't it. As delinqueat as it was, it also drew c d v e types, many kids in H o t
theonly pair of brothera there werealsoJeffand Chris Gr&; Jeffworkd who went on to do great thinp hung out there I remember Mike
at Schwinn and Chris m s his ywnger brother. J&was the most adult of Bakary, bemr known as &a, hanging out, playing his trumpet andgraf-
our crew; be was eigkeen and he bad a p b that he took seriousb. These ki artism putting up murals all the time. It manetthe right hum,but
two -*t as functioml as the Cowabungas, becauw Chris tried d e s p a everyone there took piide in the scene we c d . Unfioitunately, the stu-
at+ to be like h l older brother and f;riled misetlbly. Thome two had a hot dems d teach= of that scbool were Eft paying the bin and cleaning up
sister named Tracey, who had dyed her hair black in response t o the fict the &ennath every moaning.
that her e h &mily was naturally bbnd Tracey had this whok little The H p a l unwisely decided to take m v a i s into h l own ha& by
Goth stylegoing&eGothwas evenascena lying in wait to d r o n t US one night. It didn'tgo over well; me kept taunt-
And there was Jonathan Watts, wbo was the b*eat head caw among ing& hepttooworkedup dmyfriendsand1gotintoitwithhim.h
us. He was jut h n e ; he would do alrything, regardkss of the bodily got out of h d mquickly that a p d y aM the cope. Nothing scattea
harm or p o a d i n ~ a m ~ that o n migk befall him. I was only d v e , a pack of kids like the sound of a siren, w moet of thosc present escaped.
but even w, I knew enough about music and people to find it a bit odd that U&nati?l~ I manotone ofthem. Amther kid d I were the only two
Jomthan and his dad were dedicated Jethro Tull farm I mean, they ruor- who were cwghr; we were handcuikl to the handrail in the ftont of the
shippad Jethro TuU I*mwrryto ray that Jonathan is no longer with uy he school rigk on the meet, on display for all to aee. We mew like two hog-
dkd mgicah of an owrdore afier he'd spent years as both a r q h g ako- tied animals, going nowhere and none too happy about it. We iefULed to
holic and then a hg-waver b r Akoholics Anonymous. I brt touch with cooperam we cracked wise, me gave them &he mmes, we did everything

TWENTY-INCH-HIGH HOOLIGANS
shm of oi&q at them and calling them pigs. ' I k y kept asking and did SLsbjwmphgout at rbc tmch a bir GABmr.bib
their best to scare us, but we &ed to meal our names and add-es,
and sine t d v e - y a o l d s don't carry ID, they we= k e d to let us go.

PUBERTY KICKED IN FOR ME AROUND


thirteen, while Iattended Bancmh Junior High in Hollywood. What-
ever I was feeling about my family breaking up took a bockreat to the
intense surging of hormones. Sitting through a whole day of school
seemed pointless, so I started to cut. I began smoking pot regululy and
riding my bike intensely I found it hard to control my&; I just wanted
to do whatever I wanted to do at a moment's notice. One night while my
friendsand I were schemingabout how to breakinto Spokesand Stuff-
the same b i k store where we hung out-for what reason I can't remem-
ber, I noticed a kid spying on us through the window of an apartment
acroes the alky
W h a t are you bokin' at?" I yelled. "Do& bok at me!" Then I threw
a brickthrough the kid's window.
H b parents called the cops, of course, and the duo that aesponded to
the call chased my friends and me all over town for the rest of the night.
We biked for our lives all over Hollywood and West Hollywood; we
turned down one-way streets into on-corn* traffic, we cut through
alleys and through parka. They were as tenacious as Jimmy "Popeye"
h y k , Gene Hackma& character in The Frmdr Come&; every time we
turned a corneq they were them Hvemtually we fled inro the Hollywood
Hills and hid in an out-of-the-way canyon like a pack of Wild West out-
laws. And just the way it goes down in a cowboy movie, when we tbought
it was safe to leave the hideout and head back to the ranch, we were
headed off at the pass by the same tm deputies.
I assume it was because I was the smallest that they decided to chase
m e when my &ends and I split up. I rode hard, all over the neighbop
hood, unabk to shake them, u m l I finally sought refup in an undep
ground parking garage, I fiew down a few levels, weaving between parked
cars, hid in a dark comer, and lay on the ground, hoping they wouldn't
catchme.'Ikyhadmndownth~onfiwtandbytherimetheygottomy

TWENTY-INCH-HIGH HOOLIGANS
leocl I think they wexe over it. 'Ihey vigilurtly searched between the cars Tearing up tbc h i b d wt tbc Yodb Ccrcta in h e &
with their flashlights; about hundred feet away &om me they turned back
Ip t lucky. This battle between my f h L a d the LAPD continued for
the rest of tbe summer a d it ceininly wasn't a constructive use of my
rime, but in my mind, at that point, thatk what I considerad fLn,
I m s p ~ e t t y g 0 0 d ~ ~ m y & t o m y L e l f t v e n b P c k t hbut
~
wben I dipped up my mother a d grandmother were very lingking, I was
home u littk as posaibk by the middk ofjunior high. In the rummer of
1978#I had no idea that my gradmother was moving into a unit in a mom
atmus new annpkx that occupied an entire blockbetween Kings Rwd ad
S a m Monica Boukud, akhough I knew the building d because I'd
been riding my b i b through it $ace it was a constmaion sim My fiieadr
and I would high and race one amther t h q h che halhvap a d down
the h e l l s Drhmming doom in one anotWs &es, jumping onm banb
tm a d lea* creatidy shaped &Imarh on the freshly painced w;rlla
We =e in the mi& of doing so when I came =reaming around a corner
and nearly bowled over my mother a d grurdmother, wbo were car*
armloads of O h Sck bebnginp inm her new apartmeat. I'll never kpt
the look on my p d m o t h e r k h e ; it was somewhe b e e n shock ad
horror. I m k e d myselfad shot a l o o k o ~my r shoulder, where I sawthe
lzst of my friendst& a hard turn out of sight. I had one leg on thegroud,
one on a pedal, d thinking that I might pt any.
"Saul?"O h Sr. said, in her too-awe- higbpitchedgrandmother voice,
"Is thatprtf
"Yes Gmdma," I said. "Its me.How are you doing? My friends and I
werejust coming by to &it."
%at Bit didn't fly at all with my mom, but O h Sc was soglad to ace
me that O h Jr. kt me get amy with it. In fm, it all w o r l d out so well in
t h e e d that a fiew weeks h e r I moved inm that very apartmem, a d that's
wben my junior vanity exploits in Holywood really began totake off. But
we'llget to all of that in jut a little bit.

I'M N O T G O I N G TO O V E R A N A L Y Z E WHAT
became my other new hest-kleptomania-aside &om saying that I
was a pirred-off early adoklcent. I stole what I thought I needed but cans-because there mere plenty to be had. It was an advenhlre finding
couldn't a h r d , I stok what I thought might make me happy; and wme- him every day because he was so skilled at fading into his environment,
times I stolejut to rrtal. as chanceleonr are known to do. It always took me some time to bcate
I stole a bt of b o o b because I've al-)a bved to read; I stole a oon of him and I bved the challenge, This arrangement Luted h about five
cauettes, because I've al-ys loved music. Cauettes, for those too young months; after a while, he pt better and better at hiding among the
to have known them, had their disadvantages: the wund quality wore vines, until the day I just couldn't ftrl him at a& I went out there each
down, they pt mngkd in tape machines, and they melted in direct sun- afaernoon h two months, but it was no use. I have no idea what hap-
ligk. But they were a breeze to &&. lhey are like a thinner packof ciga- pened to Old Jack, but conrideriq the myriad possibilities that might
rettes, so an ambitious shoplifter could stuff a b a d i entire catalog in have b e f h him I hope that it ended well.
their cbthes and walka-y unnoticed. I'm very lucky not to have been caught for the majority of my shop-
At my worst, I'd steal as much as my cbthes could hide, then dump lifting expbits, because they were pretty extensive. It pt this stupid:
my paybad in the bushes a d go steal more, sometimes at the same on a dare, I liked an i n h t e d rubber raft from a sporting p o d s store.
store. One afternoon I stole a few snakes from the Aquarium SMck It took wme planning but I pulled it off, and somehow I didn't get
Company a pet store that I used to hang out in w much that once they caught.
got uaed to my presence I don't think they'd ever considered that I'd It's no big deal; I'11reveal my "method; such as they we= the rak
steal from them. lhey weren't complete suckers; I was there out of a true wu, hung on awall near the back door ofthe stcm, near the h a h y that
love for the animals they stocked-I just didn't respect the store enough ran right into the back alleyway. Once I managed to get that back door
not to take a few home with me, I'd snatch makes by wrapping them open without arouaing suspicion, pulling the raft off the wall wu, easy,
a r o u d my w r k s a d then putting my jacket on,making sure that they And once the raft was offthe wall and on the floor, hidden from general
were nestled high enough on my hearm. One day1 really went to town view by some dbplay of campinggear or whatever, I just waked for the
a d took a load of them, which I stashed somewhere outside whik I right moment to carry it outside and walk it a r o u d the comer to where
returned to the etore to steal booh that woufd teach me how to care h my &ends mere waiting for me. I didn't even kap that rak. Once I'd
the rare makes I'd just stolen. proved that I'd pulled that dare off I dumped it one block ammy on
On anther occasion I Hied aJachonb chmeleoq which isn't exactly wmeone's front lawn.
a subtle steal: they are the homed chameleons that measure about ten I'm not proud of it, but all things c o n s i d 4 when I was ten miks from
inches and feed on 9ies; they are a big as small iguanas and have those homewithnomoney a d mybikptaflat, I'mgladthatitwas easyfor me
straqe, protruding, pyramid-like eyes. I had a lot of balls when I was a to steal an inner tube Ennn Top "R" Us,Otherwise, I might haw been out
kid-I just walkd rig& out of the soore with it, and it was a very expen- there h i t c b g brine hGod only kncnvg what k i d of aituatiom. Still,
t k , exotic member of the pet store jungle. As I walked home with the like q m who repeatedly tempts he,I must admit that however often
littleguy, I couldn't come up with a story that would adequately explain you convince ywnelfthat your actiom are necewtry when you know that
his preaence in my room to my mom, I decided that my only option was they're not quite righ~they win catch up to you in the end.
to let him live outside, on the vine-covered chain-link fence at the back In my case, in as much as we're talking about shopldhg, in the e d ,
of our yard, by our garbage car. I'd stolen a book on Jackson's chame- Ip t nabbed at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard, which was my par-
leons, w I knew tht they love to eat h, and I wufdn't thin k of a better .
ents' fivorite record shop. I remember that day all too clearly- ~t ' was one
place for Old Jack to find flies than by the fence behiad our garbage

TWENTY-INCH-HIGH
HOOLIGANS
of those moments when I'd known somethingwas wrong but embarkd
on the adventure anyway. I ms &eels I think, and I m e m b e r thinb
usually
ing, as I parked my BMX bike outside, that I should be carefbl in this
atore in the hture. 'That revelvion didn't help me in the short term: I
greedily s t u U cassettes in my jwket, down my pants, and glutted my
we had weedy
clothingso much that I thought I should probably buy a i w albums $st
to throw the cashiers off. I b e h I walked up to the counter with
Cheap Tiickb h a m Potin and Led Zeppelin's Horrrs o j h e Holy, and
after I was rung up, I was home free in my mind.
I was outside, straddling my bike, ready tojam whena hand clamped
down h a d on my shoulder. I denied everything but I was busted; they A L L O F T H O S E P E R M U T A T I O N S WERE
brought me up to the room above the store w h e they'd been w a t c h 4 going to m r k themselves out over the next eigk years of my I&, but
me soell through the one-way window and they showed me the h g t . only once I'd found a stable family of my own design.
They called my mom; I gave up all of the tapes in my pants and they In the vacuum that my family's dissolution left in its wake, I made
a i r ~ l g t dthem on a table for her to ree when she got there. I got a m y my own world. I'm luckyenough that, despite my a@, during a period of
with a lot as a kid, but get* busted fix shoplifting cassettes at the testing my boundaries, I made one friend who has never been fir from
store my parems had f r e q u e d for so many years was an o 5 s e that me, even when wovebeen worlds apart. He is still one of my cbsest con-
meant more within the c o n k s of our fimily than it did within the let- fidants, which, after thirty years, says a fuck of a bt.
ter of the law. 1'11 never hrget OKs expression when she came up to that His name is Marc Canter; his fimily owns the famous L.A. institu-
office above the store and k n d me sitting there with everything I'd tion Canter's Deli on North Fairfix. 'The Canter family moved from
stokn laid out before me. She didn't say much, and she didn't have to; i New Jersey and opened the restaurant in the 19408 and it's been a hub
was clear to me that she was over thinking that I could do m wromg. for show-business types ever since, because of the f$od and the fact that
In the end, Tower didn't press charges because all of the merchandhe it's open twenty-hr hours. It's only a half mile &om the Sunset Strip,
was recoveied. 'Ihey kt me go on the condition that I muld newr set and in the sixties it became a haven k r musicians and has remained so
hot in their store again, most likely because some managtr there recog- ever since. In the eighties, bands like Guns had many a late-night meal
nized that my mom was a well-liked regular. there. 'The Kibbin Room, which is their bar and live music venue next
Of coune, when I was hitad at the very same store six years hter in door has hosted too many great nights of music to name. The Canters
the video division, during m y shift h r the ht six month&I was con- have been wonderful to me; they've employed me, they've sheltered me,
vinced that romeone was going to remember that I'd been caught steal- and I can't thank them enough.
ing and have me fired. I figured that any day now, wmeone muld figure I met Marc at 'Third Street Elementary School but we didn't really
out that I had blatantly lied on my application h n n and presumed what become friends until I almost stole his mini bike in fifth grade.
I knew to be true: that what I did mallilgt to lifi until I was caught was Our friendship was solidikd &om the start. He and I hung out in
worth more than a biw months' paychecks. Hancock Park, which was next to the affluent neighborhood where he
lived. We used to go down to the ruins of the Pan Pacific 'Theater, which
is where the Grove shopping center is today. ?he Pan Pacific ws an

TWENTY-INCH-HIGH HOOLIGANS
amaziq relic; it had been a glamonws 1940s movie pahce, with an
arched ceiling and huge screen that showed news d and defined a
gtneration's worth ofcinematic cukure. In my day, it was still beautiful:
thegreen Art Deco arches were still intact, though the rest war reduced
to rubble. Next to the lot was a public library and a park with a b a k -
ball court and a pool. Like Laurel Elernermry it war a meeting point h r
kidr aged twelve to eigkeen*who, for one reason or anaches h n d their
way out at night.
My friends and I were the young ones on the scene; there were chicks
so far out of our league that we couldn't even counc the ways-though
we did anyway. 'Ihere were flunkies and dropouts, many of whom lived
in the mins of the theater and subsisted on the hod they raok from the
farmers' market that took phce next door twice a week. Marc and I wem
fascinated; we gained acceptance among them because usually we had
weed, which was always a crowd pleaser. Meeting Marc t i b e r e d a
change in me; he was my ht best friend-he was rromeone who u n d e ~
m o d me when I felt no one ehe did Neither of us have had lives that
one might cadl normal, but I'm prwd to say that we'rejust as close as we
were then. 'Ihat k my debition of family. A friend still knom you as
well as they used to even if you haven't seen them in years. A true friend
k them when you need him; theyie not anwnd just on holidays and
weekends.
I hund that out firsthand a fiw years later. When I bare+ had
money to eat, I didn't care, so long as I had money to promote Guns N'
Roses. And when I didn't have money ao p r k flyem or even buy myself
guitar stiings, Marc Canter was there for me He'd f i w t me the cvrh to
tahe care ofwhatever needed to be done. I paid him back once I was able,
once Gum got signed*but I never forgot that C a l m was there for me
when I was down and out.
owe r allto Steven Adler-he did it, He b the reasonthat I play guitar,
We met one nigh at the LaurelFdemermry playground when we were
thirteen, As I remember r, he wu, skateboarding miserably After a
particularly hard fill, I rode over on my bike and helped him up and we
were instantly inaepafabE.
Steven had p w n up in the Vahy with his mom, h b stepdad, and h b
two brothers until his mom couldnPttake h b bad behavior anymore and
shipped him offa, livewith hisgnadparemm in Holywood. Helwad there
h the reminder ofjunior high, rrummers included, b&e he wur b u d
back to h b mom to attend high school. Steven b special. be's the kind of
. I.:, e.
mistit that only agrdmother can bve, but can't live with.
C i&rlec~:hg w-r out ot co&,'dw~r&ea m m YOU
- .. +ipqnM. Steven and I met tbe summer b& eighth grade and hung out until
di.. . m&hqF:':
I

.-
i'v&,
k *ew y w r perspeclive-~'l i&hearhg wur w b dm . -. . .
high school since I had jut m o d k o my grandmotheri new am& in
zy..' hg ~ N n & , Y s a ~ l lrneisnng
ke a m; or d w l n g . u t d- e. r. l t Hollywood, fmm my momiapartment in Hamock Park. Both of us were
you nnrar &you had. The+l*ne 11jl&tce&a'mpkxiy6utonogl~ new to our school, BancroftJunior High as well as to the nebborhood.
As bng as I kncw him, Steven mmr spent a full weeks worth of time in
more I learnedto pky gulor, the more I MIke a ver$lbqq schoolout of anygivenmonth I got by because I did d enough in my art,
nBed my own cmatiw v o b -red through thosebk sh~ngi b mu& and Ehglish c b e s that my grade-poincanwap m s high enough to
dm 60mdNng eke erdlrely. Nates and chords hak. beooriie paaIgotAsinart,Bnglisb andmusicbecwretboee~theonlysubje!cts
o w kma- mci, more often Lttmn ndt. t~ vomt~u that heres& me. Apart komthoee I didn't cate for much ele, d I cut
I

what I feel when knguage fdls me.The g M u b c b all the time. Since I had & o h a pad of abtnca mxices b m the
whenever I- way, t's b w me bock adminismtion officesand f d my mom5 signature when I needed t q in
+-1 - . the eyes of the adminiatiation, I wy there much more o h than I ever
forgd, t remhds me why I'tn here. 5
.
.
k,
:
, a* !*.
.;.cl;,,
YY-
I\
r.;
*. -.c - wur. But the only reason I actually graduatedjunior high at all was due to
a teachers*strikeduring my h lyear. Our regular mchers were rephced
by substituteswho w e a troo e a q h me to bulbhitand charm I don't m n t
to get into it, but on more than one occasion I recall playing my teacher*^
fiorite song ongukar for the e h e class. Emugh said
To be honest, school wynk roo bad: I had a whok circk of friends,
includiq a girlfriend (who we'll get to in jut a little bit) and I partrook
liberallyinevery exercisethat m a b schoolenjoyableto stoners.Our crew
met in theearly morning before homemom to mort l o c k mom-a head-

H O W TO PLAY ROCK-AND-ROLL GUITAR


shop brand of amyl nitrite, a chemical whose fumes expand your blood on a&& from Big G u l p and c+ettes, so we were in good shape. We'd
vessels and lower your blood pressun and in the process giw you a brief walk up and down Sunset Boulevard, then Hollywood B o u l d &om
euphoric rush. Aker a bkw hits of bcker mom, we'd smoke a bkw cigutttes Sunset to Doh-, checking out rock postem in the many head shop or
and at lunchtime recowlene in the courtyud m amoh apint.. ,We did. duckingintowhichever sou& or mu& st- boked excitingtour. We'd
what we could to make the school day pleasant. just wander, taking in the animated reality p i n g on down th- We u d
When I didn't go to school Steven and I s p m the day wandering the to hllg out at place called Piece 0'Pizza for hours, phying Van Hakn on
gffver Hollywuod u# wkh our heads in the cbuds talking about music thejujubebox over and o m It was a ritual by then: Steven had played their
and hustling money, Wedid some offband panhandlingandoddpbe, libe &st r e d for me a bkwmonthsbefbm It m r olne of those momencr where
moving h r n i u n h r someof the random charactem we'd meet. Hollywood a new body of music totally overwhelmed me.
has always bana weird place that amacts odd hh, but in the late seven- "You've got to hear thb:Steven said, all wide-qred. Itkthis band Van
ties, with the stranp rums cukun had & from the kaiown of the Hakq they'na-f I had mydwbar becvreSteuznand Ididn'takvays
&ties revohtion m the widespread useof d i u p and h e d twmalmomi, see eye to eye muskally. He put the recod on, and Eddieb sob that sets off
there were m n e really strange ones hanging around. "Eiuption" came shredding through the spakerr. "Jesus C h r k ~ "I said,
Idodtrwnembetbowwemet him, buttheremsoneolderguywhoused "what the hell is tkat?"
toghe us money for nothing. We'djust hang out and tallcto him; I think
he aked us togo to the sawe a ampk of times. I debit+ t h g h t it m e
wtitd, but he wasn't threatening emugh todoanytbing a couple of chitteen-
year-olds couldnit handk. Besides, the extra podoet cash was mwth it.
Steve had noinhibitions whatmewi; so he m a m d toacquire money
on a regular basis in many mp, oneofwhich was from Clark* anebbor
of minein her mid-mnries who l i d down the stmet. One day we sawher
sitting on her p m h when we passed by and Steven fek the inclination to
say hi to her. They staited tallkg and she invited us in; we bung out there
oa
for a whik and then I decided to take but Steven said that he m r p i n g
to stay there a littk whik h e r . It turm out that he had sex with her that
night and got money off her to boot. I haw no idea how he did it, but I do r ---ma1
- - - - to me
knowthat hewas wkh herfourorfivetimesmore,andptmoneyeuey
s i q l e &me. It war unbelievable to me; I was really enviour.
But thenaga4 Steven muld alwapget involved in hatiom libe that
as art and-
and they o h didn't have a happy ending. In this cae, he was in the
middk of sc+ Clarissa when her gay mommate walked in on them. w i but 13 r
She threw S t t ~ n o fbfr a n d he laded hard-on first on her bedroom &or,
and that war the end of that. a much G~~~
Seven and I gac by; I rmle an the music and rock magazines that we
needed. 'There weren't momany ocher things that we cared to spend money level
H O W TO PLAY ROCK-AND-ROLL GUITAR

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